HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A former bookkeeper has been sentenced to three years and one month in federal prison for tax evasion.
Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that 40-year-old Georgiana Ciavarello, of Nitro, admitted stealing $759,000 from her Charleston-based employer.
She was responsible for drafting checks and making deposits and transfers into Quail Ridge Construction Co's bank accounts.
Ciavarello admitted she illegally negotiated employee per diem checks for cash, and failed to pay income taxes of nearly $217,000 from 2007 through 2010.
U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers ordered Ciavarello to pay more than $1 million, which includes the embezzled money, the unpaid taxes and Social Security benefits she improperly received.
Her case has been passed on to the grand jury.
Last week, Ciavarello was arrested and accused of embezzling more than $700,000 from her employer, Quail Ridge Construction Company.
Ciavarello, 38, of Nitro, had access to the company's accounts and allegedly was writing checks to herself.
Georgiana Ciavarello, 38, of Nitro, was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with embezzlement.
Investigators say Ciavarello worked for Quail Ridge Construction, a subsidiary of Kanawha Manufacturing, where she had complete access to the books and accounting system.
She allegedly drafted and wrote several unauthorized checks to herself, without the company ever knowing.
Police say she manipulated journal entries to conceal all of the account transactions.
"The investigation is still ongoing and we're not saying whether or not there are any other suspects," Lieutenant S.A. Cooper said. "We're not revealing what she has obtained with this money or anything else at this point."
Cooper says this has been going on for the last two and a half years, initially totaling more than $519,711.03 in fraudulent checks but since climbing and that number could continue to rise well above $700,000.
Kanawha Manufacturing was advised not to comment on Ciavarello's arrest.
It's unclear whether or not any of the money has been or will be recovered, but police say the courts to could make Ciavarello repay some of the money.
She's now behind bars and the magistrate set her bond at $75,000.
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